The Stars have one of the best lineups in the league. They are a Stanley Cup contender and are one of the top teams in the Central. They had won four of their last five games coming in. The Flyers thought otherwise as they dominated the Stars from start to finish in a convincing 5-1 victory on Thursday night.
Philadelphia has now won five straight games and sits two points back of the division lead. They have consistently been a top team in not only the division but the league as well.
Morgan Frost Dazzles
Since asking for a one-on-one meeting with John Tortorella, Morgan Frost has played more consistently. Not only does he have seven points in six games, he’s been much more noticeable all over the ice. The Flyers are driving play in a significant way by all offensive numbers with Frost on the ice. He owns an impressive 68.32 xGF%, and even though the Flyers are barely outscoring teams (3-2), they are widely outplaying the opposition. Frost owns a 61.11 CF%, the best among all Flyers forwards who have played the same amount of games.
The easiest way to see the confidence Frost is playing with is through his skating and puck handling. And it was on full display against the Stars. Even though Frost only had the puck on his stick for less than a second, his assist directly led to Sean Walker’s goal in the first period. Skating up the left wall, Joel Farabee chipped the puck up to Frost. Without a second thought, Frost sent the puck backward between his legs to a streaking Walker coming up the right side of the ice.
Despite the dazzling pass, it wasn’t even the highlight of the night. Frost’s second assist was off a chance in front, but his one-timer from the right faceoff circle created a rebound that Cam Atkinson put in the net. Frost had the third lowest time on ice among forwards (15:37), but he made the most of it.
Cam Atkinson, Owen Tippett Remain Hot
Speaking of Atkinson, he has always been known as a streaky goal scorer. When he is feeling himself, the goals come in bunches. When he is struggling, it’s noticeable. We’ve seen both versions of the veteran forward this season. Since breaking his lengthy goalless drought, the goals have come in bunches. Atkinson has three goals in the last three games and has four points during a three-game point streak. He led all Flyers’ with nine shots on goal on Thursday night.
His rebound goal to put the Flyers up 3-1 in the third period was nothing to write home about. But it came just 44 seconds into the period and was on the power play. The Flyers have a goal on the man advantage in six of their last seven games. They are still dead last in the league at 12.6%, but you take the wins where you can get them.
Atkinson isn’t the only Flyer who has been hot lately. Owen Tippett has been on fire with six goals in his last six games. He had goals in three straight games before being held off the scoresheet in Winnipeg. He’s added three goals in the following two games, including two against the Stars.
His first goal of the game came off a faceoff win by Sean Couturier, who returned to the lineup against the Stars. Tippett jumped on the puck, took it to the top of the left faceoff dot, and wired a shot on the net. It put Philadelphia up 2-0 in the second period. If you want to talk about a confident player, look no further than Tippett’s highlight reel second goal.
A shot by Joel Hanley missed the net and came up the left side. Using his speed, Tippett skated into the offensive zone. With Hanley moving backward to cover, Tippett spun around to try and create space. With not much room there, he used the backhand to fire one on net that went over the glove of Jake Oettinger.
Penalty Shot Success Continues
Before this season, the Flyers had not scored a penalty shot goal since 2016. That goal came from Jake Voracek against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s not as if they were given penalty shots often, as they had 10 attempts since their last goal before this year. The Flyers have had three chances this season and have scored on all three.
Sean Couturier scored the first during the home opener against the Canucks. Travis Konecny scored the second in Colorado last month. Scott Laughton added the third against the Stars. It was all about patience for Laughton as he started slowly from the left side before skating to the middle. He went backhand and forehand a few times before somehow sliding the puck under the sprawled-out Oettinger.
The referees looked at the goal to determine if Laughton moved backward, but the goal was upheld. It was Laughton’s second goal in as many games after he went 10 games without a goal.
Eight different Flyers ended up with a point as four different players scored a goal in the 5-1 victory. They outshot Dallas 43-15, and even had a 28-3 advantage in the second period. There wasn’t one facet of the game where Philadelphia was outplayed. It was a statement win for a team that has made a ton of noise this season. They’ll face another contender in the Avalanche on Saturday afternoon. They convincingly defeated Colorado 5-2 the last time these two met.